You know that movie ‘Bucket List?’  Where Jack Nickelson’s character has a life-threatening disease and he creates a list of things he wants to accomplish before he kicks the bucket, hence the name of the movie.

 There are even websites devoted to helping you create and move through the items on your bucket list, being encouraged and sharing your experiences.  Here’s one:  http://www.reaperlist.com/?gclid=CJa-gpXam6oCFQFUgwodGFwuxg  and here’s another one:  http://bucketlist.org/  There are many more!

 But, what do I call a list of things I want to STOP doing before I kick the bucket?

 My mom was telling me how she had improved her health (and lost a lot of weight) by making a list of things she needed to change and tackling them 1 at a time.

 She’s told me this before but, for some reason, it made an impression on me finally.  So, I’m sharing this with you.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing to make the list.

 My list includes making exercise a regular thing and cutting sugar from my coffee. 

 Rick and I bought bicycles and now ride 3x a week around the neighborhood or on local bike trails.  Any vacation (or business trip) involves hiking or biking or something that’s not just taking in the local museums and scenery.

Coyote Creek South

 Last week I used Splenda in my coffee instead of sugar.  I’d tried to do that before but it never lasted past 1 day – this time, I did it all week and it was no big deal.  Why Splenda?  Because that’s what Rick’s doctor recommended – he has Diabetes.

 What’s next on my list?  I don’t know, I didn’t expect Splenda to kick sugar so quickly!  I’ve been thinking about big things I need to change and I want to break them into smaller parts so I can actually succeed. 

 One thing I did do, actually before I began creating an opposite-of-bucket-list was curb my cursing…yeah, I’m a potty mouth.  I have been since 8th grade.  It’s not easy because sometimes those words are actually the most expressive in a given situation.  Saying ‘oh, dear’ all the time just doesn’t have the same cache’, you know?

 Back to my un-bucket list…

 Habits I need to break

–       laziness (gardening, filing, laundry, mending)  I was thinking about this post while I was watering the plants.  I emptied the watering can and still had a few plants to water.  I looked at them, thinking ‘can they last another day or so?’  WHILE I WAS THINKING ABOUT THIS POST, for cryin’ out loud!

–       snacking (stress-, depression-, happiness-, boredom-)

–       snarkiness.  If you can’t say something nice about someone, come sit next to me!  I’ve actually thought about creating a snarky anonymous blog where I could give in to my spiritual gift of sarcastic bitch.  But, Rick warns that it might not alleviate my sarcastic tendencies but will rather make me much better at it – and I’m already pretty darn good.

–       errand avoidance  – I hate grocery shopping, hate going to the dry cleaner, hate running by the bank.  I had parked in the lot for Nob Hill grocery store in order to retrieve a sign after an Open House the other day.  I looked up at the Nob Hill sign and remembered that I needed to buy milk.  That’s it, just milk.  I thought, no, maybe I can get by another day.  I’m actually IN the parking lot for Nob Hill and I’m trying to figure out a way to NOT go buy the milk.  Reason won out over avoidance and I bought the milk.  Then I’m driving home all proud of myself, like it’s a major accomplishment…

I hate being out of milk... http://www.morguefile.com

Those are the biggies.  Putting them in writing helps me develop the baby steps I need to tackle each one.

 Other things that can be on an un-bucket list:

–        deferred maintenance on your house.  Maybe some of those things are expensive to do (like repairing/replacing our historic house’ windows) but some of them probably aren’t, like fixing a porch step or replacing a window screen, fixing a leaky faucet.

–        thank-you notes.  A lost art, yet such a meaningful gesture.  You have 2 weeks from the time you receive a gift to write the thank you note – get to it.

–        turn signals on your car.  Yes, your car has them!

–        recycling – even if your town doesn’t have a convenient weekly pickup.  Find a local recycler and begin with SOMEthing – be it soda cans or water bottles or paper or aluminum.  Start small, but start.

 I know I can do the things on my turn-over-the-bucket-list because I was able to stop getting drunk back when I was in my mid-20s.  Although I still want to drink and do sometimes, I don’t make a habit of it – I say ‘no’  more often than I say ‘yes’.

 So, why is it so easy not to drink that Kahlua (last night and the night before) when I can’t turn down the pretzels? 

 I dunno.  But, I’m tackling it one thing at a time.  Join me 😉

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